ISLAMABAD, January 4, 2012: The National Assembly, which met for three hours and 25 minutes on Wednesday, took up all agenda items on the Orders of the Day.
Low attendance of Members persisted as 83 Legislators were present at the start of the sitting and 34 when it was adjourned. The Quorum, visibly lacking at various stages of the sitting, was not pointed out by any of the Legislators.
The House took up both the Calling Attention Notices (CANs) which appeared on the Orders of the Day.
The Delimitation of Constituencies (Amendment) Bill, 2011 was unanimously passed by the House. The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (Implementation) Bill, 2012 was introduced and sent to the respective Standing Committee.
Fourteen Points of Order were raised, which consumed 46% of the sitting time. None of the Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling. Unless the Chair gives a ruling on a Point of Order, it does not lead to any assembly output.
The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 15 minutes. The Leader of the Opposition attended the proceedings for 55 minutes.
Members’ participation in House proceedings
- The National Assembly met for three hours and 25 minutes.
- The sitting started at 1750 Hours instead of the scheduled starting time of 1700 hours. The proceedings were delayed by 50 minutes.
- The Deputy Speaker chaired the sitting for an hour and 56 minutes. The rest of the sitting was chaired by a Member of the Panel of Chairpersons.
- The Prime Minister attended the sitting for 15 minutes. The Leader of the Opposition attended the proceedings for 55 minutes.
- The Parliamentary Leaders of ANP, PPPS, NPP and BNPA were present while those of MQM, MMAP, PML and PMLF were absent.
- The Chief Whips of PPPP, PMLN, ANP, MQM, PPPS, NPP, BNPA and PML were present while those of MMAP and PMLF were absent.
- A total of 83 Members were present at the start of the sitting and 34 when it was adjourned.
- Sixteen Members applied for leave to be absent from the sitting.
- Eight minority Members were present during the sitting.
Representation and Responsiveness
- The House took up both the Calling Attention Notices (CANs) which appeared on the Orders of the Day.
- Moved by five PPPP Members – three females and two males – the first CAN was regarding “Pakistan’s position amongst the top five countries where women are unsafe as reported by an International Organization”, which was directed to the Ministry of Human Rights.
- Sponsored by male Members of MQM, the other CAN related to “non-rerelease of funds for development in Karachi and Hyderabad during the last four years”. It was directed to the Ministry of Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Planning and Development.
- Out of the 41 questions to be taken up during the Question Hour, only 15 were put up and responded by the relevant ministries.
- Twenty-one supplementary questions were raised during the sitting.
- The Delimitation of Constituencies (Amendment) Bill, 2011 was unanimously passed by the House and The Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (Implementation) Bill, 2012 was introduced and sent to the respective Standing Committee.
- A report of the Standing Committee about “The National Commission for Women Bill, 2011” was presented in the House.
Order and institutionalization
- Fourteen Points of Order consumed 95 minutes (46% of total sitting time) of the sitting. However, no Points of Order attracted the Chair’s formal ruling.
- There were no instances of protests, boycotts and walkouts.
- Orders of the Day were available to Legislators, observers and others.
- Information on Members’ attendance was unavailable to observers and the public.
- The Quorum was visibly lacking at various stages during the sitting. However, lack of Quorum was not pointed out by any Member.
The Daily Factsheet is based on direct observation of National Assembly proceedings conducted by Centre for Peace and Development Initiatives (CPDI), a Member organization of FAFEN.
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